Ms. Zeballos Receives Shout-Out from Kristen Bell

By Christian North, Culture Editor

In Ms. Sarah Zeballos’ classroom, Amazon packages from around the world line the walls, crowd the tables, and piled on the radiator. This influx of deliveries came about due to the work of actress Kristen Bell — currently starring on NBC’s “The Good Place” — and the hashtag #Teacherfeature. This social media tag is part of a special shout-out program created to help hard-working teachers support their students, where teachers post a summary of their educational work along with an Amazon wish list on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Then, a participating celebrity selects one of the submissions to shout out. To her shock, ESOL teacher Ms. Zeballos was chosen from more than 500 applicants.

After being featured, Ms. Zeballos’ Amazon wishlist was viewed by millions of Kristen Bell’s followers worldwide, from Texas to Australia. Nearly a week after the shoutout, Ms. Zeballos was still receiving packages, with boxes piled outside her classroom.

“I am working with a community that is very small and does not have any formal schooling,”said Ms. Zeballos. From pens and pencils to notebooks and folders, the mundaneness of Ms. Zeballos’ requests stand in sharp contrast with the exceptional passion and dedication she displays for teaching. “It’s not about me or my classroom,” she says. “It’s about the students.”